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MERCEDES, TX-Chelsea Property Group has started work on what will be its third outlet center in the state: the 400,000-sf Rio Grande Valley Premium Outlets in this town near the Mexico border, about 270 miles south of San Antonio. The developer, which is owned by Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group, now has two centers under construction in Texas, to go along with its existing Allen Premium Outlets.

Between its regional malls, open-air and outlet centers, Simon currently owns 23 properties in the state. Next week the company will open the 785,000-sf Firewheel Town Center in Garland. “Texas has been a great state for us, and we’re continuing to add property and enhance what we have there,” a Simon spokesman tells GSR.

Simon executives expect to complete the $50-million Rio Grande some time in the fall next year. The center will feature 100 upscale stores on a single level, as well as Southwestern architecture.

The other Texas outlet Simon has in the works is the 430,000-sf Round Rock Premium Outlets, outside of Austin. This year Simon also opened Wolf Ranch, a 670,000-sf open-air center in nearby Georgetown.

The company is not just focusing its outlet-center growth in Texas. In the planning stages are Premium Outlets in Limerick Township, PA; Merrimack, NH and Tinton Falls, NJ. Simon also has its sights on Asia, where it owns five centers in Japan and is looking to building in China as well as South Korea. Outside of Japan, Simon’s holdings include 295 centers in North America and 51 in Europe.

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